Long Form

Long Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

Bianca Jonkers* was gang raped and the free Vimba! app puts helped her access counselling and care.

‘I would have killed myself’: Free app puts care at rape survivors’ fingertips

In Diepsloot, Bhekisisa's Vimba! app is helping rape survivors access life-saving care and treatment.

A grim anniversary: Hundreds of clinics close as Trump’s gag rule turns one

Governments and even anonymous do-gooders are stepping into fill the funding gap left by the US decision, but their pockets will never...
This is Simon Antindi

Meet the doctors: Take a look at this country’s first crop of homegrown physicians

Finally capping its own medics, the country must now retain them and coax them into rural areas.
In 1992

This country figured out how to stop teen substance abuse, so why has no...

Find out which nordic nation radically cut teenage smoking, drinking and drug use and how they did it.
Two decades and three South African Human Rights Commission investigations later

Does South Africa need a Human Rights Commission?

History repeats as old health emergencies emerge anew. Is the health ombud the person to lead fights the Human Rights Commission started?

Life on a hotter earth: Depression, drought & decolonising mental health

As the climate crisis worsens, arid parts of South Africa are expected to get even hotter and even more water-scarce. In...
The quest for a better life may be going virtual.

Gaming medicine: Virtual reality is bringing real-time relief for chronic pain

Virtual reality isn’t just for video games anymore. It’s revolutionising medicine, including the way we manage pain.
End of the road: Ntombizodwa Matthews was wheeled put of Mafikeng Provincial Hospital in April because the facility had no staff to care for her. A month later she was buried.

Who killed Ntombizodwa Matthews? Politics, protest & corruption in the North West

A month after she was wheeled out of a North West hospital in a barrow, Ntombizodwa Matthews met her end. Her family blames politics for her death.
Tholakele Memela sought help when she realised the symptoms for HIV and a sangoma’s calling were similar.

Sangomas learn to meld muti with conventional medicine

Traditional and Western healers team up to treat patients with HIV and tuberculosis because many people consult more than one health system.
A mother delivers via C-section in Mozambique. In South Africa

A changing birth: What’s behind SA’s skyrocketing c-section rates?

Almost one in four babies born at public hospitals come into the world via c-section but is it costing some women their lives?

PrEPing young women for the HIV prevention pill

This tablet can help to protect the country's young women from contracting HIV.

The long walk back to yourself: How this hospital revolutionised rural rehabilitation

Bhojana Mathunywa was attacked by four men for bag of tobacco. Now, slowly but surely, this team of rural therapists is helping him recover the everyday skills he lost. (Dylan Bush, Bhekisisa)
Loud and clear: A billboard in Lilongwe

Malawi to halt prosecutions against LGBTI community

Malawi says it will no longer enforce anti-homosexuality laws but dangerous homophobia persists on the country's streets - and in its clinics.
Making waves: Women on Web offers an online portal that dispatches an abortion pill to people across the world.

‘I told them I had a miscarriage. But the nurses knew what had really...

Go inside the international network of women willing to break the law to give people access to termination of pregnancy services.
What happens when anesthesia works as well as it should?

This is what it’s like waking up during surgery

General anaesthetic is supposed to make surgery painless. Now there’s evidence that one person in 20 may be awake when doctors think they’re under.
Members of the Women’s Network educate people on the harmful

​Uncut, unwed and cast out, but a better life awaited

In rural Kenya, a group of strong-willed women is giving traumatised young runaways a second chance at life.